Love the Lord your God, listen to His voice and hold fast to Him, for the Lord is your life! Deut. 30:20

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Mom's story; growing up years

Here is the obituary/power point from Mom's funeral (with a few minor changes.)  
I was asked to share so here it is!

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My mother, Lois Geiger was born in 1926 on a farm outside Pandora, about a mile south of the St. John Mennonite Church in Putnam County, Ohio.  She was born before the doctor arrived at the house.  Grandpa Geiger felt they should pay him anyway for his trouble.  The doctor said all he would take was a quart of Grandma’s canned sweet cherries.


Mom grew up on the farm where her father also grew up.  

Grandpa Geiger was a farmer, inventor, a horticulturalist, woodworker and enjoyed photography.   He developed his own pictures in the cellar. There was always work to do.  They had a big garden and various orchards, so there was much picking to do.  Raspberries, strawberries, cherries, shelling peas.  

 They raised goats, chickens and sheep.  There were always lots of kittens, but no dogs.  Grandpa did not like dogs.

 There were 5 children born to Monroe and Anna Geiger.  Treva Mae, the oldest, grew up to be a missionary nurse midwife in Mali, Africa.  Next in line was Lois (mom), who went to Japan for 30 years.  Wallace and his wife Wanda were missionaries in Paris.  Wava married Harry Wiens and they lived in Mountain Lake, Minnesota.  Mahlon, married to Anne, lives on the farm property.  Both Harry and Mahlon did many short-term ,missions trips to Mali and Haiti.  Serving the Lord was ingrained into this family.

Mom had lots of fun with her brothers and sisters.  They enjoyed being pulled around in a cart by goats.  They loved to climb all the trees on the property and sledding down the barn hill.  For 2 winters, grandpa put hay in the field and in the winter they would jump out of the 2nd floor of the barn onto it.  In the summer they enjoyed playing outside in their bare feet.  It was hard to wear shoes for church come Sunday.  They loved to play kick the can and drop the hankie.

Christmas was a special time.  Grandpa would cut down an evergreen and they would put up red and green garland in the archways in the living room.  She remembers that during the depression they got a pencil and an orange.  Maybe there was a little candy also.

 Aunt Treva and Uncle Wally enjoyed helping Grandpa in the barn while my mother and Aunt Wava preferred to help their mother in the house.  

Grandma Geiger enjoyed Swiss cooking.  
Nothings, called hiechle were a favorite.  
Also homemade donuts, chicken loaf (like meatloaf, but served cold) and beet eggs and lots of pies.  They made so much home-made cheese that to this day, mom did not like cheese.


On Saturday they cleaned house and took their weekly baths.  They polished shoes and cleaned the car, getting ready for Sunday.  They also would bake and cook for guests on Sunday – angel food cake and pies.

Because the family went to church and had family devotions, mom learned about Jesus Christ at an early age.  She gave her life to Him in the 4th grade, in her own bedroom.  She was baptized  in 1940 by the Rev. D.J. Unruh at St. John Mennonite Church in Pandora.

At church she learned to know missionaries from all over the world as they came to speak at their church.  Mom felt God wanted her to do this also, but this she did not want to do.

Mom is on the far left.

They grew up speaking Swiss-German and when Aunt Treva went to school, she did not know English so it was difficult at first.  Mom attended Pandora public school.  They would ride the school bus.  The school bus had benches on the outside and a middle board straddling the center line.  The younger children would straddle the middle bench, lunch box in one hand, books in the other.  There were 2 school buses.  If they had to ride the first bus, there would be a half hour wait for school to begin, so the girls would learn embroidery while the boys did shop.

Mom (back row 2nd from right)

On the morning that her brother Mahlon was born on the farm, my mom was so excited.  She told all the children on the bus that she had a new baby brother.  One older boy asked, “where did he come from?”  Mom replied “the stork brought him” and all the children laughed and snickered.

Mom is in the front row, 2nd from the left
Mom enjoyed school, especially art and socializing!  Socializing continued to be her favorite subject throughout her life!!  Over the years she has filled any silence with many stories!  Her memory remained sharp until the end.

Mom says that God spoke to her while cleaning the house with her sister Treva.  When she was 14, as they were cleaning their bedroom, a piece of paper fell to the floor.  Aunt Treva hurried to pick it up, explaining that she had written down her promise to the Lord that she would become a missionary.  This her and she began to think seriously about what God wanted her to do.

She enjoyed music and loved to play the piano.  The piano teacher would come to the house to give lessons and grandma would make my mother dress up for piano lessons.  She played piano for school and church.  And the piano lessons came in very handy over the years on the mission field.  She played beautifully!

I will always remember the days when we would gather around the piano in our living room in Japan how she taught us to sing 4 part harmony as she played along.

 This kind of play would never be done today!  Mom is on the very back row, on the left.  I wonder if those 3 girls were the major actresses in the play?

to be continued.....

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